Embracing the Unexpected of Expedition Travel

Embracing the Unexpected of Expedition Travel

From Pole to Pole with ET Traveler Giovanni Savaglio

Aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his hero Ernest Shackleton brought traveler Giovanni Savaglio to ExpeditionTrips. Program Manager April Petersen remembers “It was truly a pleasure helping Giovanni plan his voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands; I loved his explorer's heart and sense of adventure!”

And quite the adventure it was. Unbeknownst to Giovanni, his 19-day Antarctic expedition would result in even more adventure and life change than he could have imagined: Not only would Giovanni experience a trip of a lifetime, but he would also meet the future love of his life.

“The unexpected is a part of polar travel. Aside from the routine posting of weather conditions, ice flows, and animal sightings, you can expect thoughts and reflections that go beyond the usual,” Giovanni explained.

Embracing the unforeseen of expedition travel goes beyond itinerary changes to include meeting new friends. Kerrie ventured to Antarctica from the United Kingdom, Giovanni from the United States, and somewhere amongst tabular icebergs and ice floes, penguin rookeries, and majestic mountains, a special friendship was born.

Giovanni said, "It was Kerrie and my love of travel and exotic locations that brought us together. I do believe that had we both met, in say Chicago or London, we probably would not have taken the time to get to know each other. Finding someone in a remote, exotic, and far off place has some effect on bringing people together. In my life's film they will say, 'It was travel that found them love.'"

Years later, after that first meeting on a journey to the world's southernmost continent, Giovanni and Kerrie are married with a son and reside in the United States. Giovanni's passion for travel continued as he set his sight on the North Pole with an entry in the "Blog Your Way to the North Pole" contest. More than 300 people entered for the chance to be appointed the official blogger. With the support of more than 2,500 people who voted for his blog entry, Giovanni became a top five finalist, where ultimately a selection committee selected Giovanni as the official blogger!

As the winner of the "Blog Your Way to the North Pole" contest, Giovanni won the coveted trip for two aboard Russian icebreaker 50 Years of Victory on a voyage to the North Pole. And can you guess who joined him? Throughout his and Kerrie's adventure, he shared his experience by blogging from Helsinki, Finland, through the Arctic Ocean and Franz Josef Land, to the top of the world.

For aspiring polar travelers like Giovanni, or for veteran polar travelers wishing to return, this coming Antarctic season will offer an exciting line-up of expeditions exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea, Antarctic Circle, Ross Sea, Falkland Islands, and spectacular South Georgia.

April recalls, "Over the past 12 years at ExpeditionTrips, I've gotten an amazing amount of joy in helping people plan their trips. As after years of working in this spectacular place, I know the breathtaking, pristine beauty that they will encounter and be changed by forever!"